Resource centre on India's rural distress

Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS)



•    The biggest school feeding programmes are in India (114 million), Brazil (47 million), the United States (45 million) and China (26 million). India has a universal school meals programmes. It's school feeding programme ranks 12th among 35 lower-middle-income countries covering 79 percent of its total number of school-going children $

•    In 2010-11, the combined expenditure of the central government and the state governments/ Union Territories on the school meals programme was around US$3,850 million. In many evaluations since 2001, the programme has been found to have positive impacts on enrolment, elimination of classroom hunger and promotion of gender and social equity $

•    Higher enrolment hasbeen observed, particularly among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes children (formerly known as “untouchables”). Data on gross primary enrolment rates from 2001-2002 and 2007-2008 confirms a significant rise among Scheduled Castes (103.1 to 132.3 percent for boys, and 82.3 to 116.7 percent for girls) and Scheduled Tribes (106.9 to 134.4 percent for boys and 85.1 to 124 percent for girls). The nutritional impact, however, has not yet been evaluated $

•    The MDMS was revised and universalized in September 2004 and central assistance was provided at the rate of Re. 1.00 per child per school dayfor converting food grains into hot cooked meals for children in classes I–V in government, local body, and government-aided schools#

•   The number of children covered under MDMS has increased from 3.34 crorein 3.22 lakh schools in 1995 to 12 crore in 9.5 lakh primary schools/ EGS (education guarantee scheme) centres in 2006–07#

•    The audit of the implementation of the scheme countrywide displayed weak internal controls and monitoring. The provisions for programme evaluation and regular monitoring and inspections in the scheme design, were not effectively followed nor the results analysed for review of errors and introduction of changes on the basis of lessons [email protected]

•   Audit of the implementation of the scheme in the states disclosed leakages, deficient infrastructure, delayed release of funds and inflated transportation costs [email protected]

•    Many instances of the teachers spending considerable teaching time in supervising the cooking and serving of meals were noticed, resulting in loss of teaching [email protected]

$ State of School Feeding Worldwide 2013, World Food Programme (WFP),


# Planning Commission (2007): Chapter 1: Education, Government of India,


@ Performance audit report on MDMS by the Comptroller and Auditor General (2008),